EVDA 621-Presentation

EVDA 621-Presentation


Space, Time, Power

43 – “The Space of Flows” – M. Castells,

Castells argued for the idea of the Space of Flows is based on the concepts of space and time. He states that space and time are the fundamental material dimensions of human life and that both are intertwined in nature and society.

Space and time are transformed under the combined effects of the information technology paradigm. The technologies could make possible the scattering and decentralization of business all around the globe.

The globalization is a process. This process is that centers of production and consumption are connected on the world wide scale. This has an impact in industrial locations, and creates a change in the urban layout. For example, Japanese companies tried to adopt a “just-in-time” practice. Companies tired having “the right material, at the right time, at the right place, and in the exact amount”.
Globalization blurred territorial boundaries, and even reversed. However, the new industrial spaces do not adjudge the demise of the old. The trend of the new society is home centeredness but it does not mean the end of the city. Time becomes more flexible, places become more singular, as people circulate among them in an increasingly mobile pattern.

The emphasis on interactivity between places breaks up spatial patterns of behavior into a fluid network of exchanges that underlies the emergence of a new kind of space – the space of flows. The informational city is a new urban form whose society is based upon knowledge and organized around networks.
The Space of flows is made up of three layers, firstly there’s the material layer which is constituted by a circuit of electronic impulses. The second layer is composed of the nodes and hubs that create the space of flows and their specific locations. The third layer comprises the spatial organizations of the dominant managerial elites – instead of classes.

In the past architecture has been a weatherglass of social change, the varying stages or styles relating to the social and political relationships of the time. Castells parallels the space of flows to post-modernism as the end of history and supersession of places.

The most intriguing thing aspect in the space of flows is how it relates to social movements and the influence of information technology on society, and the effect this has on the changing form of cities. What this illustrates is the tendency for things to constantly change and evolve, which is ultimately dependent on the flows of information and how it’s received. This then leads us to our questions.

1. What role does the Architect play in a world that is ever increasingly being shaped by the flow of information and electronic media?
2. What role can Architecture have in the development of Mega Cities?



Biological Thinking

42 – “Biological Sovereignty” – E. Thacker

Eugene Thacker argues the topic that is the security of life itself – Biological Sovereignty. This sovereignty is a term of relationship between the health of the population and the security of the state. The public health are the biologically sovereign that is shifting from the geopolitics to the “biopolitics”. There are two main aspects of biopolitics: “the naturalistic articulation of a new entity of governance, the ’population’ and the development of mathematical and statistical means for managing the population” (Pg. 5). Those two aspects are stitched together by an emerging “race war” that is a binary division within society either the threat or being threaded. For example, The SARS is a very strange case that happened abruptly and spread rapidly. There are so many information about the SARS is a virus of rare war. However, the threat is not only a nation or population, but the control system of circulations: “processes of infection, replication, transmission, endemicity and epidemicity” (Pg.18).

Biology sovereignty is the relationship between sovereignty and life, and it does not only define a single bare life, but also the dynamic between specific and general life. Disease has no boundaries, as the space that can be limited or cannot be limited.
1. The national boundaries are broken by the biopolitics. Does it mean the architecture have the same properties that can exceed the space boundaries?
2. Does the architecture have any characteristic of sovereign?



41 – “Ideal Genesis of Matter” – H. Bergson

Bergson discusses the creation of the universe i in a chapter of his book entitled Creative Evolution.  He talks about how our consciousness is brought to us, and how is in the past. Bergson believes that “our consciousness must detach itself from the already-made and attract itself to the being-made” (Pg. 230).  We experience the creation that is just a simple action in our mind, and actions have only been a pause that instead of continuing into a news creation. The author notes, “Whether we speak of creation or posit an uncreated matter, it is the totality of the universe that we are considering at once” (Pg. 232). We have the idea of creation that is always obscure, as we habitually do as the understanding cannot help doing. However, the creation is not a mystery and is so conceived as that: “That new things can join things already existing is absurd, no doubt, since the thing results from a solidification performed by our understanding, and there are never any things other than those that the understanding has thus constituted” (Pg.240).

The creation should have a scientific view that means we need to connect between science and creation. The science helps us generate more and more creative things and carry out the creative idea.

1.How does the consciousness relate to the architecture?
2.Can we merge the consciousness into the science?

Communication and Information Technologies

40 – “The Ecstasy of Communication” – Jean Baudrillard

In “The Ecstasy of Communication,” Baudrillard discusses the influence of mass communication on the human society based on two principal logics. Those two principal logics are interfered each other: “phantasmatic logic that referred principally to psychoanalysis” and “differential social logic that made distinctions by referring to sociology” (Pg.126).

Baudrillard used the television as one example to explore the influence of mass communication – “the television being the ultimate and perfect object for this new era – our body and the whole surrounding universe become a control screen” (Pg.127).  With the new technology development, the Information networks replaced private telematics – “Each person sees himself at the controls of a hypothetical machine, isolated in a position of perfect and remote sovereignty, at an infinite distance from his universe of origin” (Pg. 128). Now, the individuals are connected through multiple networks. However, Baudrillard argue that the networking led to more and more “obscenity”: “It is the obscenity of what no longer has any secret, of what dissolves completely in information and communication” (Pg.131). The obscene communication would be result in an alienation in human society.

I would say that the new information system brings us overmuch information and communication which lead to architecture is still stay in single framed spaces compared the social development. How can we handle with information and communication in the improvement of architecture?
1. What does the architectural solution handle with the communication influence?
2. Will the single framed spaces in architecture be connected to build a network space in future?


39 – “Understanding Media” – Marshall McLuhan

In this article, Marshall McLuhan brings forward his argument that the media changed the society and culture rapidly and hugely. He narrates the influence of media on the metal and physical aspects of human societies. Technology as the carrier of media has become an extension of consciousness that has beyond the space and time.

The present, we are in electric age and approach the final phase of the extensions of human as the essay mentioned: “We have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned” (Pg.149). Today, our society is changed from mythically and integrally fragmented space and time patterns to compressional entity of communication and information – “As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village” (Pg.150).

There are two main points that explain how the media affect the extensions of human. First, “the medium is the message”. The media renew the scale of our society by new technology. The railway as example illustrated that the new media way enlarged the scale of previous human society and created new kinds of cities, work and leisure. The medium is so strong and intense just because it is given another medium as ‘content’.

Second is “Media hot and cold”. He explains that hot media are low in participation and cool media are high in participation or completion. For instance, the radio, movies, lectures, and photographs are hot mediums because they are required little participation by its audience. On the other hand, the television, the telephone, seminars and cartoons require more participation and they are cool media. Both of those two types of media have different mental and physical effects on their “users”. The hot and cold media are not just limited in recreation and they also can be the bomb and the cold war that can totally change our planet.

Our sensation tends to be effected by hypnosis and hallucination, the new median with new technology can accelerate this trend.
1. What is the hot or cold aspect in architecture?
2. Does the mass media bring new period in architectural theory?

Technology, Authenticity and Architectural Ideology

38 – “Involuntary Prisoners of Architecture” – F. Scott

Felicity Scott presents introduces “Exodus” project as an instance from Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis to explore the relation of architecture and politics. The “Exodus” project marks “not just a continuation of earlier political questioning, but also a theory of its endpoint” (Pg.81). This project is a strategy of changing the urban center to affect the relationship between society and economy. The most interesting thing of this project is that London was divided into two parts – a good and a bad half, with the gradient of desirability giving rise to an urban exodus. It recall me other example – the boundary between U.S and Mexico. There is a high contrast between the two sides of bounding wall. There is high density unban building in Mexico, and low density suburban building in U.S. This imagines present more politics orientation rather than an economy difference. Political strategies drive the architectural intent. The famous Berlin Walls is a symbol of Cold War represented the physical and spatial separation that reflect the confliction of social, economic and ideology. Exodus as those two examples presented “a withdrawal from present, social, economic and spatial relations, one that led to the ruination of a metropolitan capital and its institutions” (Pg. 85). The political refers to the organization of space and time that feed back to the architecture.

1. Does Exodus project present a cold war in architectural area?
2. How do we handle with the political and social forces that will affect our design strategy?



37 – “Toward a Critique of Architectural Ideology” – M. Tafuri

In this article, the author delineates the architectural ideologies from technicality to sociality. Manfredo Tafuri outlines a transfiguration of the social rationality into the architectural layout.

Manfredo Tafuri criticizes the capitalisms affects the architecture and the social structure. “Tafuri understands the metropolis as the general form assumed by the process of technical rationalization and objectification of social relations brought about by the monetary economy” (Pg.4). He disagrees with the architecture as a process rather than an object which renovates the architect’s religion and value. His theory takes ideology as its object and all aesthetic ideologies are equivalent.
The urban plans have been influenced by various ideologies in the author’s viewpoint. “Urban naturalism, the imposition of the picturesque on the city and its architecture, and the emphasis on landscape in artistic ideology, all served to negate the now manifest dichotomy between urban and rural reality to pretend that there was no gap between the valorization of nature and the valorization of the city as a machine for producing new forms of economic accumulation” (Pg.8). This movement became the formulation of new consistent models of development from the naturalism of landscape garden to the critical philosophy.

The political tide also pushed the architectural form development. “All the historic avant-gardes, moreover, adopted the political patties’ model of action as their own” (Pg.19). The political praxis assumes all the characteristics of a social choice. The architecture as a critique of the ideology can only reflects the systematic change in citied development.
1) Do we need an architectural autonomy as a new energy of architecture development?
2) Does the Marxism or the Capitalism substantively change the architectural form or function?

Studio Concept Identifications

Bin Tian-Studio Project 3-Nov 09

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